PMO Responsibilities : Delivery, Excellence and Portfolio

Whether you are new to the topic of PMOs and are considering implementing one in your organization or are revisiting the current catalogue of services of an existing office (or simply because you have a random interest in PMO stuff!), the continuous debate about a PMO’s responsibilities may intrigue you.

PMO Responsibilities
PMO Responsibilities

What are the Responsibilities of a PMO ?

Different PMOs will be assigned different responsibilities, depending on the needs of the business at the time.

Regardless of the PMO type, it is important that responsibilities are fit for purpose, address the context in which the PMO operates, and are clearly defined in the PMO Charter and for each PMO role. 

In fact, with so many meanings assigned to PMOs (Project Management Office, Programme Management Organization, Portfolio Office, Centre of Excellence, or the trendy Transformation Office, you name it), it’s no wonder that you may be confused about the responsibilities of a PMO. In practice, what does a PMO do?

You may call your PMO whatever you want – in the end, it’s what they do that makes the real difference. The simple answer is…it depends. As with most aspects regarding PMOs, there is no one size fits all. However, typical responsibilities of a PMO tend to fit in one of three categories:


  • Delivery-enabling responsibilities refer exactly to what it says on the tin, they aim to directly facilitate the delivery of projects and programmes. 
  • Working in the field, the main stakeholders group for the activities included in this category is the Project Managers. 
  • Responsibilities include assisting projects getting approved through the different stage gates, assuring the quality and deliverability of work packages, providing basic support such as booking meetings or managing the different logs and documentation from projects, and providing advanced expertise such as project scheduling, project recovery techniques or coordinating dependencies across projects.

Centre of Excellence 

  • Responsibilities related to the PMO as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) are all about embedding a culture of project management and building project management capabilities. 
  • This group of responsibilities is aimed to support all project staff, thus, includes aspects such as the development of processes, templates and guidelines, the ownership over a project portfolio management (PPM) tool, the provision and clarification of best practices, converted into a scalable and tailored project management methodology, or the facilitation of project learning and collaboration, through the establishment of a community of practice where project teams can discuss challenges and transfer knowledge. 
  • From a capability building perspective, training, coaching and mentoring or competency assessments are examples of responsibilities that a PMO can take.


  • While most PMOs start their mandate focusing in enabling successful delivery and acting as a hub for excellence in project management practices, as they mature it is likely that their scope will expand to also include portfolio responsibilities. 
  • Activities included in this group of responsibilities will be particularly useful for senior management, by facilitating informed decision-making and providing oversight over the health and value of the portfolio. 

  • PMOs operating in this sphere will be responsible for assisting in the selection and prioritization of the portfolio, and reporting the status and progress of projects and programmes. 
  • Additional responsibilities relate to the management of a resource plan and solving allocation bottlenecks, as well as demonstrating that value is being delivered by facilitating the benefits realization process.
Swapnil Wale

Written by

Swapnil Wale is an IT Professional based in Sydney, Australia with over 10 years of experience in technology and project management. He is a passionate blogger and focuses on project management and BRMS articles.


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